Facebook gambling ads aimed at children came to light last year. It seems that a UK based marketing startup was using these ads for online casinos. Quelle surprise! As always, Mr Zuckerburg is trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted and the ads have been paid for.
Introduction: Facebook Gambling Ads Aimed at Children
A new start up called “The Spinner” makes claims to be able to target individual users on the Facebook platform with ads. Not just any ads, but essentially those that help manipulate gamblers into spending more than they might want to. A spokes person for the company explained the use of “sniper targeting” to flood a users feed with relevant content. This is with the express aim of encouraging them towards certain activities. Some of their clients include online casino operators who are only too happy to be able to influence players to play more and play more often. Hundreds of articles about previous winnings, prize monies on offer, along with new games and ways to spend, along with online casinos in the US list can be sent out every day to social media feeds. It’s with this technique that we find Facebook gambling ads aimed at children. Thanks Mark!
Facebook Gambling Ads: Tricking the Kids
Gambling ads for adults are much less of a problem. Like this one for FreeSpinCasino. But a real problem with Facebook gambling ads aimed at children comes from the encouraging of children to spend money online. Last December, court documents revealed that Facebook was facing a class action lawsuit after an accusation of tricking children into spending money on such online games as Angry Birds, PetVille, and Ninja Saga. The company let these games developers to charge money during game play, but without first asking parental permission. Kids were able to spend without realizing it. Facebook’s own developers said that the company should be protecting children from what was known as “friendly fraud”. And yet Facebook did nothing. Oh…and the average age of these youngsters was just 5 years old!
Does Facebook Really Care?
Unfortunately, Facebook acts as deluded as ever. Under the “interest” tag for children, there appears the tag “gambling”! Finally this last couple of months the company has started to flag the 740,000 accounts. These all have this tag ticked and also happen to be children. And that’s just in Europe. This tag is used by advertisers to target that particular audience. You couldn’t make this up! Mark is sleeping at the wheel again.
Facebook Gambling Ads: It’s Not Our Fault
The Spinner prefer not to comment on whether children are a target. Notice that’s not a “no”. It goes without saying that Facebook claimed to be unhappy with this media company saying that they work with online casinos. Oh, and keep in mind that the company was looking to enter the online casino market since 2012. But the company claims, ““we don’t pick the players, the casino does”. Just like FreeSpinCasino but for the adults. Yeah right. Whatever! These Facebook gambling ads aimed at children obviously work or they would of stopped them.
As expected Facebook says that it will be taking these themes very seriously and will not allow it’s terms to suffer manipulation by third party marketers. Luckily in the US, both off and online gambling has a high level of regulation. Check out these online casinos in the US. Whatever Mark says, some people still remember when the company wanted to charge $10,000 per month for a gambling related group.